TPR is proud to share this timely interview with Metropolitan Water District’s newly confirmed General Manager, Adel Hagekhalil. Throughout his career, from his time as president of the National Association of Clean Water Agencies to overseeing LA City’s wastewater, stormwater, and watershed programs as Assistant Director of City of LA’s Bureau of Sanitation (LA SAN), and most recently by delivering integrated multibenefit infrastructure as General Manager of LA’s Bureau of Streets Services, (StreetsLA), Adel has championed a holistic approach to water and infrastructure. In this VX Interview, Hagekhalil shares his One Water agenda for securing water resilience through integration, innovation, and inclusion and emphasizes his commitment to bringing all of Met’s member agencies and stakeholders to the table to enhance local supplies and deliver on Met’s mission to provide reliable, affordable water to the region.
Against the backdrop of what’s shaping up as a devastating drought year, the California Department of Water Resources has released its first assessments of groundwater sustainability plans developed by local agencies to meet the requirements of the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act. The department released reviews of four local plans, approving two but sending the other two back to local groundwater sustainability agencies, saying the plans need more work. Under SGMA, the local groundwater sustainability agencies must develop plans to guide management of groundwater in basins and subbasins statewide. This first round of assessments pertains to agencies overseeing critically overdrafted basins and that were required to submit plans by Jan. 31.
Water is like electricity. Most people don’t think about it much until it’s gone.
Now, as California and other Western states find themselves heading into a severe and worsening drought, a new interactive map is providing a breathtaking journey that shows where America’s water comes from and ends up.
The project is called River Runner. It allows anyone to click on any place where a raindrop would fall in the United States, and then track its path through watersheds, into creeks, rivers, lakes and ultimately the ocean.
Instead of being flush with newly melted snow, Folsom Lake is the driest it’s been in springtime since the epic drought of 1977. Water levels are so low that temporary pumps probably will be installed to help move water out of the stricken reservoir.
Water levels at Lake Oroville have plunged to the point that its giant hydropower plant could be idled for the first time ever this summer, putting additional strain on California’s troubled electric grid. At Shasta Lake, which feeds the Sacramento River watershed and much of the Central Valley, conditions are so bad that major cities are drawing up conservation plans, farmers have scaled back plantings and environmentalists are angrily warning of extensive fish kills.
Co-Director of the Center for Watershed Sciences at UC-Davis, Jay Lund, joined Yahoo Finance Live to break down the gravity of the drought the Western U.S. is facing and why the water shortage could send food prices higher.
Scientists are calling it a “mega-drought” brought on by climate change. The latest U.S. Drought Monitor Map shows large areas of the Southwest are “exceptionally dry,” the worst category. It’s taking a dramatic toll on the Colorado River system that provides water to 40 million people in seven states — and may force the federal government to make a drastic and historic decision. For more than eight decades, the iconic Hoover Dam has relied on water from Nevada’s Lake Mead to cover up its backside. But now, at age 85, it finds itself uncomfortably exposed. Much of the water the dam is supposed to be holding back is gone.
The most important thing to understand: If you’re reading this, you live in a desert. And you can live in this desert because politicians, scientists and engineers have moved mountains, almost literally, to bring you life-giving water.
The latest brawl in Water World plays out on this backdrop, and what comes out of your tap may well depend on the result. Will it come from recycled waste water? Desalination plants? A giant tunnel or two under the Delta? The answers will, in large part, depend on who’s chosen to lead the gargantuan Metropolitan Water District of Southern California, which provides water to 19 million people from Ventura County to the Mexican border.
Just two years after California celebrated the end of its last devastating drought, the state is facing another one. Snowpack has dwindled to nearly nothing, the state’s 1,500 reservoirs are at only 50% of their average levels, and federal and local agencies have begun to issue water restrictions.
Governor Gavin Newsom has declared a drought emergency in 41 of the state’s 58 counties. Meanwhile, temperatures are surging as the region braces for what is expected to be another record-breaking fire season, and scientists are sounding the alarm about the state’s readiness.
Several industry leaders recently expressed agricultural water concerns to California Lieutenant Governor Eleni Kounalakis. After touring Fowler Packing’s facility in Fresno County, Kounalakis participated in a roundtable discussion with industry members. Representatives from the California Fresh Fruit Association (CFFA), Western Agricultural Processors Association, California Citrus Mutual, and others were all in attendance. Congressman Jim Costa also participated in the discussion. CFFA President Ian LeMay said it was a beneficial meeting, where issues related to drought and the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA) were highlighted.
California’s new drought is worsening. After two severely dry winters, reservoirs are shrinking, fire danger is rising and water supplies are looking more tenuous.
The past two years have been the driest in nearly half a century, since 1976-77. How did the state find itself in a new crisis just as the COVID pandemic is fading? Scientists say California’s parched plight largely comes down to two words: “atmospheric river.”